I saw the thread about arabic bladedancer titles and realized I'd never really used the titles for anything at all. I knew one DM who had special social things happen at certain levels (I think one of them was that a 3rd level fighter, a Swordsman, was legally allowed to have his weapon on him at all times, even at banquets and stuff, because society recognized it as part of his core identity.) but I've never done that in my game.
What purpose might they serve? Alex clearly invested time into writing them all. They're pretty cool. I'm just not sure where they might fit.
I was inspired to keep level titles by the Lance/ACE Conan books, which had titles like "Conan the Warrior" and "Conan the Freebooter". The same line of books also inspired the name of the game ("Conan the Adventurer" "Conan the Conqueror").
I tend to use the mage titles as official titles within the Tower of Knowledge and the bladedancer, cleric, priestess, and witch titles as official titles within the temple/sect/coven.
The others are mostly they are flavor that helps define the class. If you see that a class has titles like "swordmaster" "hero" and "warlord" it tells you that you are playing the role of someone like Achilles. If it has titles like "torturer" "slayer" and "executioner" then it feels very different.
I use them all the time, both instead of character level, but also for my DM notes so I know what kind of enemy I am making the players fight.
I have a hard time picturing how characters gauge each others' experience level with any degree of accuracy or objectivity (beyond relatively obvious metrics like the number and level of spells a character can cast). Right now I see it almost as a sixth sense sort of thing, a certain look in a characters' eyes that tells you how much action he's seen.
I do! But I'm the only one in my group that does so it ends up not mattering.
Well, given that wealth=power, and the mandatory lifestyle spending, there's a sliding scale based on appearances. Anyone growling and covered in mud is probably harmless, while the guy in silk is probably an elite veteran. If you meet someone who smells nice, be careful, they might be the king.
Nope, not in ACKS or any other game that uses them.
I use them mainly to make puns when designing new classes. About half of my players find level titles amusing enough to keep track of, but it’s never something that’s mattered in-game.